The Connection Between Gut Health and Liver Health
Just like the gut-brain axis, the liver and the gut have a unique connection where one has the power to influence the other. While research on the subject is still in its relative infancy, recent studies are beginning to show just how significant the gut-liver connection really is.
Keeping both vital organs healthy is about eating the right foods and providing them with the right nutrients, like chicory root and natural prebiotic supplements for the gut, as well as beetroot powder for the liver. A liver cleanse could also go a long way in maintaining optimum overall health for your body.
How gut bacteria influence the liver
We already know that gut bacteria have a hand in influencing your brain and your mood. Some 90% of all of your serotonin – the feel-good hormone – is created by your gut microbes. But what about these microbes’ influence on your liver?
The reality is that the bacteria living in your gut microbiome can be just as influential on your liver as it is on your brain. Every two and a half minutes, 1 gallon (4.5 litres) of blood passes through the liver, about 75% of which comes from the intestinal tract.
If the gut microbiome is unbalanced with unhealthy or pathogenic bacteria, these can flow back to the liver via the portal vein, causing the liver all manner of problems.
In order to defend the rest of the body from any toxins arriving from the intestinal tract, the liver has to breakdown, filter and excrete them. This process can prove difficult when the body is already overloaded with toxins created by pathogenic bacteria.
Alcohol-producing gut bacteria
Surprisingly, gut bacteria can turn pathogenic. They can go through the same fermentation process as alcohol, producing high blood alcohol levels in your body even when you haven’t had anything to drink. This is known as Auto-brewery syndrome.
Emerging research has found there to be a connection between alcohol-producing bacteria and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This study shows that 60% of participants – all with NAFLD – had the alcohol-producing bacteria present in their gut.
Because the alcohol being produced by this specific strain of bacteria (Klebsiella pneumoniae) in the gut filters through to the liver in much the same way as when you actually consume alcohol, it can cause fatty liver disease even in those who don’t drink.
With a healthy lifestyle comes a healthy gut-liver connection
Not only can bacteria in the gut cause NAFLD, but it can also produce a compound called phenylacetic acid that can help to identify the early stages of NAFLD. Preventing and reversing NAFLD is about making healthy lifestyle choices.
A plant-based diet paired with chicory root-based prebiotic supplements for the gut and beetroot powder for the liver will pack your body with the natural nutrients it needs to ensure optimal health.